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Posted on January 11, 2023

Reading time: 2 minutes.

During the ongoing industrial strife on the railways, I have sought to see what specialist news sources like Rail or Modern Railways might have to say on the subject, much like how I used New Scientist for health news during the height of the pandemic. Unfortunately, I find that these either keep such things to their print titles or behind a paywall. The first can mean that there is a clear lag that causes one to resort to general media sources like the BBC while the second adds an extra cost in these times of income constraints. There appeared to be a need for more timely delivery.

Since then, I found Railnews to be useful for strike news, among other things. Thus, I will be keeping it on my radar along with the others. After all, Rail does feature other kinds of news on its website and I never begrudge keeping more insightful content to the print medium. There are times when considered opinion has much to add, and it takes longer to write in-depth pieces anyway. We all need our news to be both fast and slow, even if it means that we need to wait a little longer for the latter, especially in these times when the postal service has seen significant industrial disruption, and that some announcements are not timed well for print deadlines.

A new year often means a new start though the latest copy of Rail magazine is not so optimistic on its front cover. Talks can restart as they have done in the ongoing rail and postal disputes. With a whole year now ahead of us and not a last minute rush before a year-end, there may be more space for resolving these disruptions. Though the rail talks are not producing very much so far, we only can hope. It does not help that the government is also proposing legislation that may or may not hinder, and one writer even mentioned the possibility of lockouts. Actions like these cannot help for continued goodwill, an important, undervalued and priceless commodity.

In all of this, it is important to recall that the start of 2019 produced a resolution of a dispute between the RMT and Northern Railway. That became a form of release during ongoing political bedlam and was much appreciated. The now-facilitated escapes into the countryside were much needed at the time. Memories like those allow us to hope, especially for someone that does not drive and depends on public transport to get around.

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